U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced a measure in the U.S. Senate today aimed at giving a last-minute boost to Miami and Orlando’s hopes to host 2026 World Cup matches.
The move comes one week before FIFA, the governing body of international soccer, holds a key vote in Moscow next Wednesday to select the host country for the 2026 World Cup. FIFA will select either Morocco or a joint bid from the U.S., Canada and Mexico to host.
The lawmakers’ resolution would lend congressional support for the united North American bid, also known as the United Bid Committee.
“Being a World Cup host city is a really big deal,” said Nelson. “It could provide an economic jolt to both Orlando and Miami while also allowing them to showcase all they have to offer to a huge international audience. That’s why we’re going all out to make this happen.”
“The World Cup provides a unique opportunity to bring people from across the world together to showcase a shared passion and deepen relationships,” said Rubio. “I am proud to express my support for the United Bid by the United States, Mexico and Canada, and believe it provides an incredible opportunity for the United States to generate increased goodwill and cultural development.”
A recent economic impact study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group found that World Cup host cities could reap up to $500 million each.
Orlando and Miami are among 23 North American cities - 17 in the U.S and three each in Canada and Mexico - in the running to host World Cup matches should the North America bid prevail. Other potential North American host cities include: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Edmonton, Guadalajara, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Monterrey, Montreal, Nashville, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto and Washington, D.C.
The 2026 World Cup will feature 80 matches involving 48 teams from around the world.
Sens. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and Roy Blunt of Missouri also joined the Florida lawmakers on the resolution. An identical resolution sponsored by U.S. Rep Kathy Castor of Tampa passed the House of Representatives in April. The Senate could vote on the resolution as early as Monday.
Click here for a pdf of the resolution.